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Thread: WTC Hero Reganhard memorial set for St. Pat's

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    WTC Hero Reganhard memorial set for St. Pat's

    WTC Hero Reganhard memorial set for St. Pat's

    By JOHN DeSIO

    One native Bronx firefighter will be remembered for his heroic actions on September 11 at the end of the month.

    A memorial mass for firefighter Christian Michael Otto Regenhard will be held on Friday, October 26, at 9:30 AM at St. Patrick's Cathedral, located at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

    Regenhard, 28, is the son of retired police officer Al Regenhard and Co-op City community activist Sally Regenhard.

    Christian Regenhard of Ladder 131 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is an ex-marine and a graduate of Bronx Science High School, a high level public high school that has graduated several Nobel Prize winners.

    A rookie firefighter, Christian was last seen responding to the disaster at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11.

    Regenhard's mother decided to hold the memorial mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral, rather than in a Bronx church, to symbolize that her son served the entire City, as well as the size of the structure.

    "The sheer size of St. Patrick's is significant,", said Sally, "since my son was lost serving the people of the entire City."

    Sally also noted that the church held other significance for her and her son, since the two had often attended midnight mass at the Cathedral.

    "Being an artist and an intellectual, my son appreciated the beauty and the architecture of the church," said Sally.

    The Regenhards also appreciated the role of Irish immigrants in the construction of the church, with Sally noting that her ancestors helped to build the structure, something that was not lost on her son.

    "He was fascinated with the role of the church in New York, and the role that immigrants played in its construction," said Sally.

    While the service will be held in Manhattan, it will still have a Bronx touch, as Fr. William Luciano, pastor of St. Michael's Church will perform as the celebrant, and music at the service will be coordinated by Anthony Daino, the music director at St. Michael's.

    Fr. Luciano had previously helped to organize a candlelight vigil in Co-op City for Christian several weeks ago, which was well attended by several hundred people.

    Sally thanked Fr. Luciano and the role his church has played during the national tragedy.

    "They have given me a lot of comfort and support," said Sally. "And I wanted them to be a part of this memorial."

    In addition, artwork created by Christian Regenhard will be on display from noon to 6 PM on Sunday, October 28, at Ruby Gallery, 516 Court Street, between Nelson and Huntington Avenues in the Carol Gardens section of Brooklyn.

    Christian's mother noted that her son had many talents, but seldom spoke of them due to his modest nature.

    Sally further described her son as not only and artist and a writer, but as a environmentalist, humanitarian, and a world traveler.

    She also noted that her son was skilled as a rock climber and scuba driver, and had won many awards while serving in the Marines for his accomplishments in these and other areas.

    According to Sally, the people at the Ruby Gallery had met Christian only once, but were so taken aback by his talent that the jumped to offer help when he went missing.

    "Through their generosity of spirit, they are going to put on this show," said Sally. "They are very excited."

    On display at the gallery will be many of Christian's charcoal sketches, as well as some handmade jewelry he had learned to make while traveling in South America.

    Also, writings by Christian will be on display, as well as photos of the young firefighter documenting his travels, which have taken him to 22 different countries.

    His mother also noted that those travels would be reflected at the memorial service, as people from all over the country, as well as from Ireland, Chile, and Australia, were expected to attend.

    "We want the world to know what evil has done," said Sally, "we want the world to know that we have to fight."

    Sally also noted that while the terrorist attacks have been described as part of a religious war against America, that God was not a part of these attacks.

    "God had nothing to do with this, this was the work of the devil," said Sally. "We must fight terrorists, these demonic barbarians, with intentions to annihilate our country and eradicate our ideals."

    Christian's mother also noted that now was the time for the United States to throw its full support behind President George W. Bush and the war against terrorism.

    "We must continue to fight evil in the world," said Sally.

    Still, Sally's thoughts turned back to her son, who she described as a "shining star" in what can be a dark, dreary world.

    "We have to make sure that he did not give his name in vain," said Sally. "We must insure that something like this can never happen again."

    Sally asked that while the mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral did not start until 9:30 Am that people arrive early, and noted that the New York Bus Company runs a line from Co-op City that stops very close to the church.

    "I'm urging everyone to come, to show solidarity and support for our City and country," said Sally. "We have to show that hate and fear will not win out."

    Sally added, "we have to fight back."



    http://www.bronx.com/blue/10_18_01fr...8_01front.html

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Photo

    Firefighters salute after a memorial service for New York City firefighter Christian Regenhard in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral on Friday in New York. Regenhard, of Ladder 131 in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood, was killed on Sept. 11 while responding to the World Trade Center terrorist attack.

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